Redesigned MSOP, MPA Programs Offer Best of Both Worlds
Trying to weigh the benefits of earning a master’s degree versus pursuing a certification such as Project Management Professional® (PMP) or Six Sigma improvement methodology? Why not do both?
Bellevue University recently enhanced its Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree and its Master of Science in Organizational Performance (MSOP) degree by further aligning the program curriculums with highly recognized industry certifications, such as the PMP and other widely recognized industry certifications. Both programs now have six core courses focused on essential knowledge and skills as defined by employers, and each core course runs concurrently with a one credit hour applied project course that Program Director John Patterson said brings the learning to life.
“During the applied project courses, students may supplement their preparation for a recognized industry certification credential or develop actual work products,” he said, “such as a grant or a project plan aligned with the student’s educational goals and career path.”
Although the programs are distinct in their curriculum and learning outcomes, Patterson said that both programs share a career-centric focus in how they were designed “We took into account what would make students more competitive and more valuable,” he said.
Both programs’ calendars have also been redesigned to fit into the lives of students who may be balancing work, family, volunteer activities, military service and more. Patterson said that both the MPA and MSOP degree programs utilize 10-week courses – whether students are attending 100 percent online or in-person classes.
Each 10-week course will typically have approximately a three-week break prior to the next course starting. The schedule is built in such a way as to allow students to start the program at any established offering time (January, April, July, or October), and take their courses in a row – because the programs will not require students to start with one particular course.
“Students can just take the courses right in a row if they want. If they need a quarter off, they can do that,” Patterson said. “Every new student joins existing students in the same program. One of the ideas there is that existing students can help mentor the new ones.”
The typical three-week breaks in the program fall conveniently around major holidays including July 4 and Christmas.
“The scheduling will really appeal to people,” Patterson said. “This scheduling methodology will provide our students with an appropriate amount of time to rest, recharge, and then get back to work.”